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Global challenge debates

Our Global Challenge Debates series invites world-leading experts to discuss some of the greatest challenges facing us today.

Previous events include:

Does Political Violence Work?

Exploring the Efficacy of Civil Resistance and Terrorism

The debate, entitled: 'Does Political Violence Work? Exploring the Efficacy of Civil Resistance and Terrorism', was chaired by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford.

Leading academic, Professor Erica Chenoweth from Harvard University, spoke about their research into different methods of pursuing political change, both violent and non-violent.  Professor Chenoweth, who is co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict (Columbia University Press) focused on the reasons for non-violent methods having a more successful record than violent ones in the pursuit of political change.

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Is War between Science and Religion inevitable?

In the seventeenth century the Church condemned Galileo for teaching that the earth revolved around the sun.

In the twenty-first century Creationists and Darwinians attack each other in the courtroom over the teaching of evolution in schools. No wonder that the idea of a perpetual warfare between science and religion has gripped the popular imagination.

Two leading scholars took up this issue and asked: Is war between science and religion inevitable? Or are there other ways of thinking about the whole issue?

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Human Rights In An Age Of Trump And Brexit

To what extent do the politics of Brexit and of President Trump affect human rights?

Polarized debates about UK, European, and US politics and society have seen different anxieties expressed, and rival futures advocated.

In this public discussion, two of the world’s leading thinkers considered the continuities, complexities, and transformations involved in what some have seen as a new era of western politics.

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Feeding Nine Billion Debate

If the global population increases to 9 billion by 2050 as projected, we will need to produce more food over the next 50 years than we have in the last 500 years.

Food safety experts Professor Chris Elliott, founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast and Michelle Grant, Executive Director of the World Food System Centre at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, discussed the challenges facing consumers and industry alike. 

A growing demand on food production will place huge strains on the integrity of the supply system in terms of ensuring what is produced is safe, wholesome, authentic and values all those involved.  

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